Responding to the growing popularity of home theater systems with immersive sound, Sony Pictures Post Production Services has added a new mix stage dedicated to next-generation home theater audio formats. Located on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City, the new stage is designed to simulate a home theater environment and equipped to master feature film and television projects in Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D and other immersive sound formats. This new room has been used to prepare several feature titles for Blu-ray Disc, 4K Ultra HD Disc, and digital delivery.
“This new stage keeps us at the forefront in immersive sound, providing an ideal workflow and environment for mastering for home theaters,” said Sony Pictures Post Production Services executive vice president Tom McCarthy. “We are empowering mixers to maximize the creative potential of these new sound formats and deliver rich, enveloping soundtracks that consumers can enjoy in the home.”
“The Sony Pictures Post Production mix stage adds to the growing footprint of Dolby Atmos enabled post production facilities and gives the Hollywood creative community the tools they need to deliver an immersive experience to consumers, adding additional depth, detail and clarity to the soundtracks,” said Curt Behlmer, senior vice president, Content Solutions and Industry Relations, Dolby Laboratories.
“The hope of film buffs and makers alike is an experience that fully transports the audience into the world of the characters,” said Auro Technologies CEO Wilfried Van Baelen. “Having major releases from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment incorporating Auro-3D helps provide this immersive experience, with sound design unlike anything audiences have heard before, to ensure they are able to enjoy films how the creator intended—with full impact.”
“As their home theaters grow in sophistication, consumers are demanding high-quality home viewing experiences, with immersive sound, ultra HD resolution, and high-dynamic range. This new stage allows our technicians the ability to more closely replicate a home theater set-up, so they can continue to deliver the best experience for consumers,” said Rich Berger, senior VP, Digital Strategy, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
The new mix stage features an Avid Pro Tools S6 mixing console with 24 faders and two Pro Tools HDX systems. In addition to a wide array of plug-ins, the stage offers ancillary gear from Black Magic, Pegasus, Brainstorm and other manufacturers.
At 600 square feet, the stage is designed to replicate the dimensions and acoustics of a typical home theater environment. It employs a custom-built Delicate Audio truss system for mounting nearfield speakers. That allows the speaker array to be quickly reconfigured to conform to the specifications of individual sound formats.
“Flexibility is essential,” explained Sony Pictures Digital chief engineer Nathan Oishi. “We designed the room to seamlessly and fully support both Dolby Atmos and Auro formats, while building in enough routing, monitoring, and speaker flexibility to accommodate future immersive formats. Streaming and VR deliverables are upon us, and we will need to stay nimble enough quickly adapt to new specifications.”